What to do if the seller hid the fact that they had bed bugs?

We just purchased a rental property and came to find out from the current tenants that they had bed bugs. Our state has no laws requiring sellers to disclose this information. However we’ve learned from the tenants that they had complained to the owner about the problem and they were not only ignored but told not to disclose this information to us. We are now treating the building at a cost of $2100, plus we have a vacant unit that we cannot rent until the problem is eradicated. Can I sue the previous owner?

Asked on September 11, 2012 under Real Estate Law, Illinois

Answers:

FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

Under the laws of all states in this country (common law) the seller of an item is required to disclose to all potential buyers of the item all known matters that affect desirability or price paid.

If you can prove that the sellers of the unit knew about bed bug issues with the unit you purchased and did not disclose this material fact to you before close of escrow, the sellers are responsible for all of your damages. Such damages would be costs of eradication of the bed bugs, lost rent, and possibly attorney's fees. I suggest that you consult with a real estate attorney about your matter.

 


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